WatchSonoma Watch

A short day, for extra pay

One of my favorite features in the Washington Monthly was called “Tidbits and Outrages.” Here’s one for the outrage file: In addition to their salaries, California legislators collect $141 a day, seven days a week, in tax-free per diem so long as they don’t go more than three days between floor sessions. That’s why they usually meet on Mondays and Thursdays. The exception is holiday weeks – like this one – when a quick Friday session ensures that per diem payments continue through the three-day weekend. Dan Walters of the Sacramento Bee reports that the state Senate met today for a grand total of 20 minutes. The Assembly also was gone by noon. One important piece of business was accomplished: putting $420 in legislators’ pockets for President’s Day weekend.

– Jim Sweeney

11 Responses to “A short day, for extra pay”

  1. Sarkyfish says:

    Attention Inside Opinion readers: Our next inside opinion will be posted at an undisclosed date in the far, far future.

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  2. Grapevines says:

    80 in the Assembly, 40 in the Senate, 120 times $141 = $16,920. And why is it that we need to vote on raising the sales tax to fund schools again?

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  3. Just Me says:

    Motion on the floor. DISCUSSION -there are too many laws on the books already, many duplicating or overlapping ones. No one can possibly know ALL the laws as it is. Let’s cut the budget by starting with a part time, limited legislature!

    All in Favor?


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  4. Follower says:

    But we “NEED” to raise taxes to pay for Education & Public Safety.

    Don’t you see the game they’re playing with us?

    How can anyone advocate raising taxes ON ANYONE after reading this?

    Do you really think this is some kind of rare anomaly? All the rest of our Government is so efficient that we just have no choice but to lay off Police, Fire, Teachers and raise tuition in our collages.

    Or are you fully aware of all this but just blindly support bigger, more expensive Government because THAT is what your “party” tells you to do?

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  5. Reality Check says:

    According to a couple news reports, 6 legislators do accept per diem for holiday weekends, at least I think. It was unclear whether this was a one time act or standard policy. Unanswered was if any member did not accept 7 days of per diem even though the legislature meets only Monday and Thursday.

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  6. Pete Davis says:

    The faster we can get to a part-time legislature, the better. The constitution needs to be amended so that these part-timers, but paid for full time work can be cut off.

    This state only needs a legislature that meets every other year for no more than 90 consecutive days. Think of the savings in paper, taxes and unnecessary laws and regulations and state bureaucracy.

    These characters are only working part-time now. Lets make it official.

    Start the petition.

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  7. David J. Spencer says:

    I second Greg Karraker’s motion.

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  8. Reality Check says:

    Information like this should not go unmentioned every time someone talks about our noble “public servants.”

    One hopes not all pad their expense reports, but every legislator who accepts $141 seven days each week is. Around we’re I’ve worked, those are grounds for termination. Of course, first voters would have to pay attention to what’s going on. They aren’t.

    Jim, how about a follow up? Anyone accepting per diem only for days the legislature meets?

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  9. Sarkyfish says:

    State assembly
    Party As of February 2012
    Democratic Party 52
    Republican Party 28
    Total 80

    State senate
    Party As of February 2012
    Democratic Party 25
    Republican Party 15
    Total 40

    Any suggestions or insights?

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  10. Dan Drummond says:

    They did this for Martin Luther King’s birthday last month also.

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  11. Good reporting.

    Imagine how much money those fools would save us all if they stayed home permanently. It would greatly exceed $141/day.

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